Competition Day: A Show Day Breakdown

So you’ve put on slabs of muscle, chiseled it down with a hardcore carb, rotation diet, practiced your posing, slaved away on the stationary bike for hours on end, shaved every last hair on your body (well almost), tanned as if you were a mile from the sun, painted your entire body, and generally driven every person close to you an inch from insanity.

Now you have to go onstage in front of hundreds (if not thousands) of friends, family, and total strangers in nothing but a fig leaf (or the modern day replica). So, what can you expect on a show day? Well, hopefully this little article will give you some insight, from a very narrow perspective, into the looking glass of the big day. (Times may vary depending on the show, organization, weight class, venue, etc.)


6:00 a.m. Wake up from your restful night of pre-competition day sleep. You should be completely energized and downright spunky since you just got a quality 15 minutes of sleep in between the times when you were thinking of the exact wording for your victory speech.

6:05 a.m. Reach your ritualistic glass of water that you always have first thing in the morning, and then realize you won’t be having any of that for another 16 hours or so Oh well, you’ve only had a tear drop worth over the last two days anyway, so what’s another 16 hours?

6:10 a.m. Apply your umpteenth coat of Pro Tan because your last 17 coats can now be found all over your bed sheets.

6:40 a.m. Realize you’ve got another full hour and a half until competitor check-in, and that you should have laid in bed a little longer perfecting your speech.

8:00 a.m. Arrive at competitor check-in for the big weigh-in. You find the line of orange looking freaks in baggies and take your position. Steady yourself, the psyche job is about to begin. You now convince yourself that every single guy (or girl) in that line is bigger, more cut, more symmetrical, and downright more “better” than you.

8:30 a.m. You get to the front of the line and proceed to fill out a form that registers you to be a part of “Organization ABC” for the next year. They ask such stumpers as your name and your address. If you knew there was going to be a test, you would have studied, right?!

8:45 a.m. You hand in your form, pay your $50.00 (good for one year of competitions), hand over your posing music (cued perfectly), strip down, weigh-in at the lightest weight you’ve been since sixth grade, and proceed to the competitors meeting which starts at 9:00 a.m.

9:45 a.m. You’ve been sitting in an ice cold auditorium for the last 45 minutes waiting for this meeting to start, continuing to psyche yourself up. The meeting starts, and the person holding the meeting (sometimes the head judge, promoter, or custodian) begins. “Joe is going to demonstrate the mandatory poses for all of you novice competitors. If any of you have questions, we would be happy to answer them…” No one asks any questions, even though Joe hit a front-double biceps shot with his hands on his hips. Oh well…

10:00 a.m. Pre-judging starts. Yeah, right!

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sit around and wait. Sit around and wait a little longer. Sit around and wait a lot longer.

11:00 a.m. Almost forgot! You are doing a natural show and you have to get your polygraph test done in room A.

11:15 a.m. Enter the polygraph testing room. Sit in chair. Psyche yourself up again. Have 1,217,002 different wires, cuffs, and general gizmos attached to every orifice on your body. Proceed with test. “Have you ever taken steroids?” the tester asks. You answer, “NO!”, even though your thinking, “YES!” You think this because last year when you had your allergies, your doctor prescribed you some “steroidal nose spray”. You now know you have failed the test and that all of your shaving, posing, painting, etc. will now be for not.

11:30 a.m. The tester unhooks you from your medieval torture devices and announces that you passed despite your obvious guilt about the nose spray.

1:00 p.m. You go backstage to pump-up because your class is up soon. You see that they have some great equipment back there consisting of one 5 lb. dumbbell and one flat bench. You have “Günter the Backstage Assistant” apply your posing oil. You position your number 69 properly on your fig leaf, do five push-ups, and line up in your spot to go onstage.

1:10 p.m. You file onstage and look up. Big mistake! The lights are so bright that you now feel like Helen Keller in a fig leaf.

1:11 p.m. You begin your quarter turns. You convince yourself that there is now a mild earthquake occurring because you are shaking so badly.

1:13 p.m. You being your mandatory poses. You proceed to hit the front-double bicep just as Joe had demonstrated earlier and hear, “Competitor 69, could you please hit a front double biceps?” You look to the guy at the left and then to the guy at the right and see silhouettes of what you should be doing.

1:45 p.m. You catch a break and after only 35 minutes, the judges allow you to exit stage right.

1:46 p.m. You realize they never called you for your 60 second routine that you had practiced for roughly 200 hours to perfect. Oh, yeah, they announced in the competitor meeting that they were dropping those routines due the number of competitors.

1:46 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. You go back to your hotel and chill. You grab another tear drop worth of H20 (hey, you’ve earned it). You grab another 15 minutes of peaceful slumber. You convince yourself you are not in the top five and you won’t be able to perform your routine at the night show. You break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/dog because she/he/he/she/it has finally had it!

7:00 p.m. You arrive at the venue and proceed to follow the same procedure as you did from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. skipping, of course, the lie detector ordeal.

10:00 p.m. You go backstage to pump up again, but this time you were smart and brought your own Exertube. Now you’ll really get a pump.

10:15 p.m. You take your place in line and file onstage. They have you hit a couple of poses for the crowd (along with your co-competitors), and file you back off. “Billy the Backstage Assistant #2”, announces the top five in your weight class, and you made it, and oh, by the way, get your butt onstage and do your routine because you’re first up.

10:20 p.m. You get your butt back onstage and stumble through a sloppy rendition of the routine you had perfected just yesterday. You think to yourself as you are posing, “Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen “Lost In Your Eyes” by Debbie Gibson as my posing music.”. Oh well, the crowd seems entertained.

10:35 p.m. They file you back onstage to accept your trophies. They announce, “In fifth place we have Fabulous Fred,” clap clap clap. “In fourth place we have Awesome Al,” clap clap clap. “In third place we have Terrific Ted,” clap clap clap. You now realize you don’t have a trophy yet and think to yourself, “They must have screwed up and let six of us pose tonight.” They announce, “In second place, Bicep Bob. And your Heavyweight Champion tonight is Quad Todd!”

10:40 p.m. You give your acceptance speech that you had perfected this afternoon. It goes, “Thank you!”


10:41 p.m. You exit once again and “Billy the Backstage Assistant #2” commands that you line up behind the Light-Heavyweight winner for the overall. You see a mirage in the distance that looks like water. You start crawling towards it. You’re getting closer. Closer. Closer. You snap out of it just in time to get your legs to transport you onstage.

10:45 p.m. Once again you do your quarter turns. Once again you do your mandatory poses. This time you get the front-double biceps right. You think to yourself, “There must be some type of aftershock going on right now.”

11:00 p.m. You participate in a crowd arousing pose down with the other class winners.

11:02 p.m. The announcer has the decision, “Your overall winner of the 2000 NBNFARAAAA Northwestern Bi-Annual Tri-States One Year Drug Tested Bodybuilding Competition is…. Quad Todd!

11:03 p.m. You experience extreme anxiety because you realize you must now give a second speech. You muster up this outstanding repeat performance, “Thank you!”

11:05 p.m. You file offstage and “Billy the Backstage Assistant #2″ shakes your hand and congratulates you. He also hands you a brownie. You say to yourself, Toddy likey Brownie.” You jam that sucker in your mouth. You gag like nobody has ever gagged before. You realize you have absolutely no saliva in your mouth. You chug a gallon of water.

11:20 p.m. You arrive at the local pizza parlor, slam down a large pepperoni, a tall cool beer, and another gallon of water.

11:59p.m. Contest day is over. Tomorrow you shall rest.